Skip to comments.5 Compete for 37B Delegate Nomination [Maryland]
Posted on 06/15/2003 9:09:53 PM PDT by ForOurFuture
Five people have signed up to fill the delegate seat held by Kenneth Schisler, R-37B-Talbot. The first set of interviews is set for Tuesday.
Councilmember Stevie Prettyman and 2002 delegate candidate Jeff Powell from Wicomico, Central Committee member Jeannie Haddaway from Talbot, and Central Committee member Harry Muir and Dorchester soil conservation director Jim Newcomb Jr. from Caroline County will be part of a series of interviews before a nomination and appointment are made.
The first interview will be conducted Tuesday in Wicomico County, followed by Talbot County on at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Welcome Center on Harrison Street and Caroline at 7:30 p.m. June 24 at the Health and Public Services building in Denton. Caroline County Republican Central Committee chairwoman Joanne Smith said the public interviews will be similar to those done for the county's Board of Education opening.
Candidates will be interviewed separately by the central committee and asked the same questions. The central committee will meet in closed session after all of the candidates have been interviewed to discuss who they would select.
Smith said a caucus meeting with the chairman and one other representative from each of the District 37B counties will be held after all the interviews to determine whose names will be sent to Gov. Robert Ehrlich. She said Dorchester County's committee has not determined the process besides the caucus.
Dorchester County residents cannot run for Schisler's seat because resident delegate provisions in the state Constitution call for only one delegate per county when there are at least two counties in a two-delegate district. Del. Adelaide Eckardt, R-37B-Dorchester, holds the other District 37B delegate seat.
The names must be submitted to Ehrlich by July 30 and he must make a decision by Aug. 15.
Muir was re-elected in 2002 to his third term in the Caroline County Republican Central Committee and has served as chairman and now is vice chairman. He ran for delegate and lost in the general election in 1982 and lost in the primary in 1994 and 1998.
He is a retired Maryland State Police trooper and served in the U.S. Army and Maryland National Guard on security and military police details. He also is a part-time bailiff who primarily works in Dorchester County. The Denton resident and Somerset County native said his work and political experience in the Mid-Shore makes him the right choice.
"I feel that from my background and the work I've done in the county, I feel I am the strongest candidate in the county in the 37B area," Muir said.
He has a range of political experience running for elected office, helped others in races and worked on General Assembly bills. He led the charter government movement, has worked on dualizing Route 404 for more than 20 years and has been a strong supporter of an elected school board. Muir sees the appointment process as the best way Caroline County can get a delegate.
"Caroline needs someone over there and I feel I am the strongest candidate now," he said.
Newcomb is a Federalsburg resident who graduated from Colonel Richardson High School and Frostburg State University. He ran for the Caroline County Board of Education seat in 2001 and 2003. He is Dorchester County's soil conservation district manager and has worked there for the last 6r years after 1r in Caroline.
His role as district manager puts him in charge of federal, state and county employees in one office who look to protect natural resources, including farm conservation practices, wetlands restoration and groundwater protection. Newcomb's job allows him to work with Farm Bureau members, farmers and leaders throughout the legislative district.
"Through my role in soil conservation, I've had a lot of work with legislators and to see how those regulations are implemented," he said.
Newcomb praised Eastern Shore delegates for their work toward agriculture and he wants to make sure that continues. He also would like to see Caroline County with representation.
"The residents of Caroline County need a stronger voice," Newcomb said.
Talbot County has the advantages of having the largest share of the district and is the home county of Schisler, a Bozman resident. Talbot represents 42.9 percent of the people and 51 percent of Republicans in District 37B. Caroline is the next largest county eligible for Schisler's seat at 20 percent of the district's residents while Wicomico represents 10 percent.
Interested candidates are requested to send an email or fax stating that they are a member of the Republican party and a resident of the 37th legislative District by 5 p.m. June 17. Letters of candidacy can be addressed to John Rothert, 28400 Old Country Club Road, Easton, Md. 21601 or emailed to: JHR51@hotmail.com. Call 410-763-9163 for more information.
Caroline has gone 17 of the last 21 General Assembly sessions since 1983 without a resident delegate. Muir and Del. John Hargreaves were in the 1982 general election, but neither won a seat. Since then, only Robert A. Thornton Jr. from 1991 to 1995 has been a delegate from Caroline County.
This is not the first time Caroline County has tried to break that trend after a delegate resigned to go to the Maryland Public Service Commission. Ron Guns, a Cecil County delegate, resigned in 2001 to go to the commission and two candidates from Caroline attempted to earn the seat - Dale Mumford and Charles T. Dean III. Mumford was supported by the Caroline and Talbot Democratic Central committees, but lost 3-2 to Elkton Mayor James Crouse.
Wicomico County already has three of the 10 Eastern Shore delegates in the General Assembly - Del. Rudolph Cane, D-37A-Wicomico, Del. Norman Conway, D-38B-Wicomico, and Del. D. Page Elmore, R-38A-Wicomico.
Colburn will be in Severna Park speaking to a GOP club on Thursday. I look forward to seeing what he has to say, even though I'm not in the 1st CD.
I just started a 'Maryland politics' ping list. Would you like on?
I ain't local, but I think it's awesome (Colburn taking out Gilchrest). We need more conservative Pubs in Congress and fewer moderate/liberals, especially when it comes time to rein in spending and restructure entitlements.
So do I. Election news articles have been rather sparse lately.
Talbot GOP selects Haddaway
By: CHRIS WILLIAMS, Staff Writer
EASTON - As far as the Talbot County Republican Central Committee is concerned, Jeanne Haddaway is its heir apparent to succeed Kenneth D. Schisler in the Maryland House of Delegates.
"I think we felt all along that Miss Haddaway has been preparing herself for this since high school," Republican Central Committee chairman John Rothert said Saturday. "This isn't something she woke up to four months ago and said 'I want to do this.'"
The committee nominated Haddaway after a 4-1 vote Saturday morning at the Talbot Republican Headquarters at 22 Dover St. Harry Muir of Caroline County received one vote. The decision came after the six candidates competing for Schisler's vacated District 37B seat met with the committee Thursday night to vie for the group's endorsement. Committee members include Arlene Baybutt, Haddaway, Lynn Henley, Barbara Kendall, Al Lawing Jr., Brad Miller and Rothert. Haddaway and recently appointed committee member Miller did not participate in Saturday's vote or discussions on the candidates.
"We felt the candidates were all good," Rothert said, "we just felt that Jeanne offers the greatest opportunity for the Republicans to hold the seat in three years when that seat comes up for election."
Haddaway, 26, is a Talbot County resident and a current member of the Republican Central Committee.
In addition to Haddaway and Muir, a retired Maryland State Police trooper, the other four candidates interested in the job include James Newcomb Jr. of Caroline County, Jeff Powell of Wicomico County, Brad Powers of Talbot County and Stevie Prettyman of Wicomico County. The seat was vacated when Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich appointed Schisler as chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, a state board that regulates gas, electric and telecommunications companies.
The central committees from each county in the 37th District - Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot and Wicomico - are conducting interviews with the candidates with the goal of reaching a consensus opinion to send to Ehrlich who will make the final appointment.
Wicomico's group issued a short list of their top three choices Friday. The group's first choice was Newcomb, a Federalsburg resident and current Dorchester County soil conservation district manager. Haddaway and Powell were the second and third choices respectively. John Bartkovich, chairman of the Wicomico Republican Central Committee, said the group's decision is by no means final.
"We would like to at some point to negotiate with the other central committees and come to some kind of consensus with our choices," Bartkovich said.
Thursday night's interviews with the Talbot committee were held at the Welcome Center on Harrison Street. Immediately following the open interview sessions, the committee went into a closed session to discuss each candidate.
At age 26, Haddaway is the youngest of the candidates and emphasized her experience as an intern in Annapolis and volunteer work on the campaigns of Ehrlich and President Bush. Haddaway received the highest number of votes in the 2002 election to the Talbot County Republican Central Committee and has a degree in political science from Salisbury University.
"I think that the combination of my youth, my energy and my public relations background will benefit me," Haddaway said. "I have developed a plan for election that includes fundraising and a three-year calendar of events in all four counties that I would implement if selected."
Newcomb, 32, emphasized his role in soil conservation and said his work would translate well into the General Assembly.
"Soil conservation has many of the same duties and responsibilities, strategies and goals that I personally hold," Newcomb said, "and that's the responsible use of natural resources and our environment."
Muir, who has run three times for the House of Delegates, emphasized his experience working with Congressman Wayne Gilchrest and his current position on the Caroline County Republican Central Committee. Muir urged the committee to consider that Caroline has not had a representative in 17 years.
"I think Caroline County has been in the barrel long enough," Muir said. "I think we should have a crack at having a voice in Annapolis."
Powell is a self-employed real estate broker and former Dorchester County Commissioner who now lives in Salisbury with his wife and four children. He is the only one of the candidates who ran for the seat in the 2002 election. Powell said he understands "the political realities of the situation," referring to the perception that a Talbot County candidate would have an advantage in the next general election because it has the largest share of the district - 42.9 percent of the population and 51 percent of the registered Republicans. But Powell also believes he has the experience and skills for the job.
"I think the right person given that seat will give you a real leg up in the next election," Powell said.
Powers is the newest Republican of the candidates, switching from the Independent until last May. He retired from the Maryland Department of Agriculture in October and pointed to his experience in assisting with writing agriculture bills and on the economic development task force, as well as numerous testimonies in Annapolis as résumé bullets that would serve him well if chosen for the job.
"You're not allowed to call it lobbying in Maryland," Powers said of his experience in state government, "but I've done a lot of education."
Stevie Prettyman, current Wicomico County Council member, supports conservative spending and agreed with the other candidate that Maryland citizens are over-taxed. Prettyman said building bonds with Democrats would be a key strategy if selected.
"You have to cross the aisle," Prettyman said. "You have to be able to hold hands for a common goal - and that common goal is the best for the people you serve."
The next stop for the candidates will be the Health and Public Services Building in Denton for interviews with the Caroline County Republican Central Committee, Tuesday, June 24, at 7:30 p.m. The last of the series of interviews will be with the Dorchester County Republican Central Committee on Friday, June 27, at 6:30 p.m.
Our committee wound up with 3 votes for Jim Newcomb, and 1 each for Haddaway, Muir, and Powell. Caroline County has not had a single resident delegate since 1994 (and only one for one term, a Dem, since 1982) and that overrode all other consierations (though Haddaway's background in environmentalism was also problematic for some). Newcomb was considered the stronger of the 2 native sons, even though Muir is on our CC.
Our committee also decided NOT to participate in any intercounty caucus, but instead to send our recommendations directly to the Governor.